Monday, December 8, 2014

EASY vs NO-CREAM Salted Caramel Sauce

I can't deny!!!

Being a hardcore caramel fan, I wouldn't make or eat caramel which doesn't need caramelisation of sugar or low fat!!! Hey... That's not caramel!!!

Ok! I'm trying not to be too stubborn... as the exploring side of me sometimes ask 1) Is there is really a simpler way of making caramel? Or 2) Can I use milk to make caramel instead of cream?

Well, let find out the answers!

In order to reproduce a fair answer, I like to choose the best recipes that I can find via Google and found two highly reviewed caramel sauce recipes to compare. First, I Google for "easy caramel recipe" and I found this extremely highly reviewed recipe from Pioneer Woman at here and here. Then, I Google for "caramel no cream" and I found this recipe from being my first Google hit.

So, which is really better?

easy vs no cream salted caramel sauce
Easy vs No cream salted caramel sauce

Although that I drew and wrote that I love easy caramel in my above picture, I have to clarify here the preference is very subjective. Before going on to the taste analysis, I like to illustrate the differences, advantages or disadvantage of these two recipes...

The easy recipe uses brown sugar and the no-cream recipe uses white sugar.
The easy recipe uses a mixture of cream and milk or just cream and the no-cream recipe uses just milk.
The disadvantage of the no-cream recipe is that I have caramelize the sugar from scratch using a candy thermometer and the easy recipe doesn't require this step! 

Is there any similarities in these recipes? Yes, they do! Both contain...

(1) the same amount of butter
(2) the same amount of vanilla paste or extract
and (3) the same amount of salt if you are making the salted caramel.
Cooking the easy caramel is really super easy!!!
In contrast, the no-cream recipe is not!!! To start, I have make sure the sugar caramelise to the right colour.
This step is very critical because the sudden change of temperature can cause the caramel to split!!!
See!!! Cooking this no-cream caramel is not easy!
Time for tasting!!!
The easy caramel sauce is thick, glossy, smooth and has a toffee-like taste.
The no-cream caramel is thick too! Surprise!!! Surprise!!!
As you can see, it is not as smooth as easy sauce with specks of caramelised sugar throughout the sauce.
Taste wise... It tastes really like caramel!!! Only without the glossy texture!!!

Now, back to the same question... Are these unconventional caramel as good as the real kind? I wouldn't vouch on any conclusion. All I can say is that the texture and taste can be acceptable due to each individual expectation.

Personally, I prefer the easy caramel sauce because it looks glossy and nice but my son said it is not caramel because it tastes like toffee to him! He is right that there is a difference in the taste of both sauces and a real caramel taste still need caramelisation of sugar.

Now, what am I going to do with these caramel sauce? I'm using them to serve ice cream, make caramel pop corn and also coat freeze dried apples.

Freeze dried apples??? Yup! They are Tasmania apples made by Forager Foods.

They are not frozen and not dried! ... but they are freeze dried!!! LOL! They are dehydrated and crunchy apples and can be stored for ages!!! I called them... space-man food. LOL!

These apples are great for picnic or traveling as they are properly sealed and won't go off. They are great for everyday snacking too because they are gluten free with no added sulphur, sugar, artificial flavours and colours. Yes! Yes! Yes! They are healthy stuff! ... I know that they are not so healthy with caramel sauce... but but but they will be extra yummy!!!!

You have to believe me... This combination is super yummy!
Can't deny that this will surely impress any guests, family (all ages) and friends!!!

Before proceeding on to the caramel recipe, I like to make a disclaimer here that I'm not paid by Forager Foods to promote their products. I was given these samples to try and like to share my most honest opinions.

Here are the recipes that is mostly from Pioneer Woman at here and here and also here from

Easy Salted Caramel Sauce

Makes about 1/2 cup
100g brown sugar (any kind and I used dark muscavodo sugar)
15g butter
60ml (1/4 cup) cream (35% fat) or 30ml cream + 30ml milk (cream will make it thicker but half amount of cream works too!)
1/4 tsp vanilla paste or 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Mix all ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-low to medium heat. Cook while whisking gently for 5-7 mins, until thicker. Turn off heat. Serve warm or refrigerate until cold. After cooling, the sauce will thicken but if the sauce is still too thin, just continue cooking for a few more mins.

No Cream Salted Caramel Sauce

100g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup milk, at room temperature
15g butter
1/4 tsp vanilla paste or 1/2 tbsp vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat. Do not stir the sugar mixture after the sugar is completely dissolved in the water.

Cook the sugar mixture until golden brown colour or 375°F/190°C as indicated by a candy thermometer.

Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the butter. Once it has melted, gradually add in the milk and stir to combine. Be careful as the sudden change of temperature and also the water content will change the caramel to split.

Add vanilla and salt and stir until mixture is well combined. Serve warm or refrigerate until cold. After cooling, the sauce will thicken.

Serve with sauces with ice cream, popcorn or anything that you wish.

Happy Cooking
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  1. Mmm-mmm, who doesn't like caramel? I love caramel but I've never made them.. I only know they are made from butter and brown sugar.. I love caramel on my pudding and of course, popcorn! If I make this, I don't need any fruits to dip. I'll just spoon them into my mouth, wa-laaa !! haha..

  2. hmmm.. both sauces sounds good... i'd love them on me ice cream ... yumsy

  3. I only know about the easy caramel. Now I know about caramel with cream. Ice-cream with caramel sounds interesting....which reminds me its been a long, long time I have not eaten ice-cream.....I think I will get myself a tub of ice-cream and try with caramel. Thank you.

  4. All of your caramel looks good to me! I wouldn't turn down either of them, I love it so much. :)

  5. Research again, Zoe? OK, will take note of your findings :) I am rather curious about the freeze dried apples. I don't think I have seen any in our supermarkets here.

  6. The sauces look awesomely yummy, Zoe! I guess I would like both :D

  7. Ok..for me it also sounded like unreal thing! No cream caramel sauce! :) I think all kinds of caramel are delicious :D

  8. Hi Zoe! Both caramels looks interesting, this is the first time I hear one that uses milk instead of cream! I usually call the version with cream butterscotch, and they are lovely over ice cream, sinful but so delicious!

  9. Hi Zoe, yummy ! Easy Salted Caramel Sauce or No Cream Salted Caramel Sauce ... both you get to enjoy .. served with ice cream, popcorn and dipping the freeze dried apples ^-^!

  10. Perfectly made.......... easy and no cream salted caramel sauce....I bookmarked :)

  11. Have u tried the condensed milk method? That's the one my hubby uses - it's easy and pretty yummy!

    1. Great suggestion, Yen! Will love to try this method too!

  12. We love the brown sugar and cream version, great on top of ice cream

  13. Hi Zoe, this no cream salted caramel sauce looks yummy. Besides serving freeze dried apple, I think it's great to serve it with fresh fruits and as spread for toast too! Thanks for sharing and regards :)

  14. I would like to make this for edible Christmas gift. I have some cute jars to copy your style. Nice, right?
    I made donuts muffins and post the pic on my blog last week. Like it!

  15. Both caramel sauce look good...I sure would love to try them side by side, I just don't have the patience that you would be great to top ice cream...yum!
    Thanks for the recipes Zoe...have a wonderful week :)

  16. Good day Zoe ! Thanks so much for the invitation. I have so much fun during this time of the year. Really into the mood.
    Blessings, Kristy

  17. so lovely caramel sauce :P very nicely explained dear

  18. Zoe, I can never never resist caramel. OH GOD!

  19. Salted Caramel's always a good idea!

  20. I just did this and it turned out great! I dipped banana pieces into it at froze them and it was yummy

  21. I just made a caramel sauce <3! And it A M A Z I NG !!! I substitute the heavy cream to glucose. I know that gluscose is made out sugar so I reduced the amount of the sugar. I don't have milk in the house but still it was amazing. Thanks Zoe. (▰∀◕)ノ